Sun Scraps Ticker Symbol

Schwartz and Co. set sail for JAVA

August 24, 2007

2 Min Read
Network Computing logo

In one of the summer's strangest marketing moves, Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz revealed that the vendor's SUNW Nasdaq ticker symbol will be retired next week.

SUNW will be replaced by JAVA, a reference to the programming language developed by Sun back in the 90s.

Schwartz, the self-proclaimed "torch bearer for network computing," thinks the marketing goalposts have shifted. "There's no doubt in my mind more people know Java than Sun Microsystems," wrote the CEO in his blog today. "Ask a teenager if they know Java, and they'll point to their favorite mobile applications, the video uploader for their social network, or their game console. [Ed. note: Me, I'd point to Krakatoa, east thereof...] Global companies like Google and eBay (and Vodafone and Citigroup) are built on Java."

SUNW, which stands for Stanford University Network, reflects Sun's roots in academia, but Schwartz thinks it's time for a change. "SUNW represents the past, and its not without a nostalgic nod that we've decided to look ahead," wrote Schwartz.

It seems strange to make such a public gesture around something like a ticker symbol. Why would a company change its financial identity just to raise the profile of a technology with which it is already synonymous?While Schwartz explains that Sun is not changing its name or focus, it seems likely the vendor is going to crank up its open-source software efforts over the coming months. Perhaps it will use its new ticker to boost its presence in more consumer-oriented markets, such as gaming.

After all, the hardware market is not exactly Sun's happy place at the moment. Revenues from Sun's data center division, including server and storage technologies, were $639 million in the fourth quarter, down 10.4 percent year over year. (See Storage Shades Sun's Q4.)

Could the JAVA ticker symbol be a thinly veiled hint about Sun's future? Watch this space

  • eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY)

  • Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)

  • Sun Microsystems Inc.

Stay informed! Sign up to get expert advice and insight delivered direct to your inbox

You May Also Like

More Insights